Creamy Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing (Oil-Free!)


by Sil Pancho



This luscious tahini dressing is silky smooth and full of flavor. Drizzle it on a salad, use it as a dipping sauce…or just eat it by the spoonful — it’s that good!

Spoon drizzling tahini dressing into a jar.

Most of the time I buy my salad dressing at the store. But occasionally, like when I’m having dinner guests or craving something special, I’ll make my own…and it’s usually this one. It’s my go-to homemade vegan salad dressing recipe. It has so much going for it!

  1. You only need five ingredients (plus water), and I usually have them all on hand.
  2. This tahini dressing is super easy to make. All you need to do is stir a bunch of stuff together. Literally.
  3. This is one dairy-free and egg-free salad dressing that everyone will enjoy. Tahini is naturally vegan, but you don’t need to be vegan to love it.
  4. It’s oil-free! Tahini is naturally creamy and loaded with natural fat, so there’s no need to add refined oil.
  5. It’s also gluten-free!

Are you sold yet? Let’s talk about how easy it is to make this stuff!

Jump to:

What You’ll Need

  • Tahini. Look for this in the international foods section of your supermarket. I like to buy mine at Trader Joe’s — it’s relatively inexpensive and good quality!
  • Lemon juice. Please use freshly squeezed juice. It will give your dressing the best flavor!
  • Maple syrup. I really like the flavor that maple syrup gives this dressing, but you could substitute with another liquid sweetener such as agave if needed.
  • Garlic.
  • Salt.
  • Water.

How to Make Tahini Salad Dressing

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dressing. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Collage Showing 4 Stages of Whisking Tahini Dressing together in a bowl.
  1. Whisk tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, finely minced garlic, and salt together in a bowl. Something maybe kind of unexpected will happen: the mixture will get thicker. That’s fine!
  2. Now thin it with cold water. Add about 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Whisk, whisk, whisk. The dressing keeps getting thinner.
  4. When it’s still creamy, but also pourable, it’s done. Taste-test and adjust any of the seasonings to your liking.
Jar of tahini dressing with lemons and garlic in the background.

Tips on Working with Tahini

Tahini can be tricky because of it’s tendency to separate. And I mean really separate, to where the solid layer is rock solid! My husband and I like to joke about taking our tahini jar to Sherwin Williams so they can pop it in the paint shaker. (←I don’t recommend this.)

  • Inspect your tahini before buying it. I always look for the jar at the store that has the least separation.
  • Store jars of unopened tahini on their side or upside down. Over time this can help redistribute the layers of oil and solids.
  • Be patient and prepared to stir like crazy. It can help to take the tahini out of it’s original jar and place it in a large bowl for this. Otherwise you end up spilling tahini oil down the side of the jar and making a big mess!

Shelf-Life & Storage

Store your tahini dressing in a sealed container in the fridge. It should keep for about a week. If it thickens up during storage, just thin it with a bit of cold water before using it.

More Vegan Salad Dressings

Tahini dressing being poured over a salad.

Like this recipe? If so, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter. And please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you make it!

Jar of Tahini Dressing with Lemons and Spoon in the background.

Creamy Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing (Oil-Free!)

This luscious tahini dressing is silky smooth and full of flavor. Drizzle it on a salad, use it as a dipping sauce…or just eat it by the spoonful — it’s that good!


  • ½
  • 3
    lemon juice
  • 1 ½
    maple syrup
  • 1
    garlic clove,
    very finely minced
  • ½
    plus more to taste
  • Chilled water,
    as needed


  1. Whisk the tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt together in a medium bowl.

  2. Begin whisking in chilled water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, adding up to ½ cup total, until the mixture is creamy and just pourable (I typically add about ¼ cup).

  3. Taste-test and add additional salt if desired. Adjust any other seasonings to your liking.

Recipe Notes

Makes about 1 cup, but the exact amount will depend on how much water you add.

Nutrition Facts

Creamy Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing (Oil-Free!)

Amount Per Serving (2 tablespoons (⅛ of total batch))

Calories 104
Calories from Fat 73

% Daily Value*

Fat 8.1g12%

Saturated Fat 1.2g6%

Sodium 166mg7%

Potassium 78mg2%

Carbohydrates 6g2%

Fiber 1.4g6%

Sugar 2.4g3%

Protein 2.6g5%

Calcium 68mg7%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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About Alissa Saenz

Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors! You can read more about me here.

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